You can now take Yale’s world-famous happiness class online for free

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Christobel Hastings
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Yale University hit the headlines last year when their course ‘Psychology and the Good Life’ became the most popular class in the university’s history. Now, the world-famous happiness class is open to everyone online.

The secret to happiness is a perennially elusive question, and one that has captured the imagination for centuries. Whether it’s embracing a Danish lifestylefinding a community of like-minded people, or creating a mood-boosting playlist filled with classical hits, sparking joy is a science that keeps us eternally fascinated.

Mastering the art of happiness isn’t something we can only pursue by switching up our daily routines, though. There are proven ways and means to bring on the feel-good vibes, and if we pay attention to them, we can transform our mental wellbeing. Now, thanks to Yale University’s world-famous happiness class, we can all get a little closer to that sacred state of mind.

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You might have already heard of Yale’s renowned happiness class, given that it’s the most popular course to ever to be taught at the university in it’s 317-year history. Last spring, the class debuted to worldwide attention when 1,200 students, almost a quarter of Yale’s undergraduate student body, enrolled in ‘Psychology and the Good Life,’ which essentially teaches you how to be happier.

Taught by psychology Professor Laurie Santos, the class was created in response to levels of student depression, anxiety, and stress at Yale, and teaches practical advice such as how to find the right career, how to find satisfying pursuits, and, most importantly, how to cultivate happiness in our every lives.

Today there’s a solid reason to smile, because in a bid to share her insights further afield, Santos has created an extended version of the course. The Science Of Well-Being, filmed in her own house, can be taken online for free - and anyone can enrol.

The online class takes its cues from the Yale course, with a varied curriculum that explores topics including misconceptions about happiness, why our expectations around happiness are so bad, how to overcome our biases, activities that have been proven to boost satisfaction, and how to put strategies into practice.

“The purpose of the course is to not only learn what psychological research says about what makes us happy but also to put those strategies into practice,” the course description reads.

As well as learning the psychology behind happiness, the weekly classes feature video lectures, complementary readings, quizzes, and the odd bit of homework in the form of “rewirement” activities designed to help build happier habits. There’s also the chance to interact with other classmates and share your ideas, too.

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The best part is that absolutely anyone can take the course, so you needn’t stress if you don’t have an academic background. And for those amongst us who missed the odd essay deadline (or several) back at uni and still get cold sweats about the thought of required reading, fear not: there are no compulsory texts. Feeling like you’re already overwhelmed with life right now? The deadlines are flexible too, and there are no comebacks if you miss one. You simply go at your own pace, which in our opinion, is a total 2019 vibe.

The Science Of Well-Being is available for free on Coursera, which can be audited for free, or completed with certification for $49.

Image: Getty